17 November 2019

How to Support the Teen in Your Life

Being a teenager can be a tough period in a person’s life. It’s such an in-between stage, as you are no longer a little kid, but also not yet an adult. The teen years are a time of significant changes and adjustment, both physically and mentally. Think back to your teen years, and you can probably recall that it was a challenging time, full of some pretty extreme highs and lows. 

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Teenagers are often given a reputation of being hard to be around. Many people think of teenagers as being moody, argumentative and rebellious. Of course, this is true in some cases, but not all teenagers exhibit this kind of behavior. Some teenagers can become withdrawn and detached from the rest of the family. The changes that being an adolescent brings can have a different impact on each kid. This difference in behavior can make it hard to know how you should behave around the teen in your life. Read on to discover some tips that can help you support your teenager as they navigate their way through adolescence.

Be a Good Role Model

Maybe you are a parent, an aunt, cousin, or older sibling of a teenager; whatever your relationship is, it is likely important to the teen in your life. Kids look to the adults around them to guide them and form their opinions on the world from what they notice in the behavior of others. This means that you are an important role model in the kid’s life, so the way that you act around them could have a significant influence on them.

Being a role model means examining your behavior and thinking about the impact that it has on other people. Be mindful of how you act and what you say around teenagers and remember that they are taking it all in.

If you spend your time putting yourself down and comparing yourself to others, then they may also adopt the same opinions of themselves, which can lead to a distorted relationship with their appearance. It is far better to be a positive role model, and inspire them to believe in themselves and what they can achieve if they set their mind to it, as opposed to encouraging self-limiting beliefs.

Set Boundaries

While it’s great to be seen as a cool relative, your teen needs to understand that you are the adult and that you have their best interests at heart. Your teen may not like the idea of you telling them what they can and cannot do, but to keep them safe and prevent them from making bad decisions, this is necessary.

While your boundaries may not be popular with your adolescent, it is far better to have them, as without them they won’t have guidelines for how they should behave, and could find themselves in unsuitable situations.

Look out for Signs that Something is Up

Unfortunately, some teenagers face mental health problems during their teenage years. This can lead to them needing to seek advice for a range of conditions. Being aware of the signs of mental health issues enables you to ensure that they receive the help that they need, whether that is teen bipolar disorder treatment or coping strategies for anxiety. Recognizing the signs of a problem early on can help your teen get the treatment that they need fast and avoid issues escalating further.

Keep Listening

If you are trying to hold a conversation with a teenager and all you receive in response is a series of grunts, try not to take it too personally. Disrespectful behavior isn’t ever acceptable, but sometimes you need to pick your battles. Living with a teenager can get pretty tense at times, and if you correct them for everything, you will spend your days continually shouting at them. Yelling at your teen is likely to worsen the problem, and can put a severe strain on your relationship. Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of arguments, sometimes it can be better to let them know that you are there for them if they want to talk. Knowing that this is the case, should help them to feel more comfortable talking to you if they have a problem that they are worried about, rather than them burying it and making themselves feel worse. Keeping the lines of communication open is often the best way to keep yourself as an essential figure in their life and informed of what they are doing and who they are seeing.

Until Next Time...

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